After not faring so well in her first collegiate heptathlon at the Texas Relays in late March, LSU freshman Alex Gochenhour did Thursday what she wasn’t able to do there.
Gochenhour, the 2010 USA Junior champion, got off to a fast start in the Southeastern Conference Track and Field Championships with a Day 1 personal-best of 3,252 points at Bernie Moore Track Stadium.
Sparked by a time of 13.67 seconds in the 100-meter hurdles, the first of four events Thursday, Gochenhour scored 103 more points than she did on the first day of the Texas Relays and was in fifth place with three events to go Friday.
While Gochenhour’s time in the 100 hurdles didn’t go down as a PR because of a 2.4 meters per second tailwind, it was the third-fastest run Thursday and fastest she’s run under any conditions.
“That was a big boost,” a smiling Gochenhour said. “Coach (Todd Lane) had to try to get me to calm down before the high jump after being so jacked up.”
She followed that by tying for seventh in the high jump at 5 feet, 21/4 inches, then set a PR with a throw of 39-33/4 in the shot put to take third and was fifth in the 200 with a time of 25.36 seconds.
“It felt pretty good,” Gochenhour said. “The score was a lot better than at Texas and I had a pretty significant PR in the shot put. The hurdles were better, the high jump was better. It’s good to be where I am.”
The only other LSU entrant on Thursday was freshman Kaitlyn Moreau, who was competing in her first heptathlon. She was in ninth place after the first four events with 3,056 points.
Arkansas had a huge day in the multis as the Razorbacks had the leader in both the decathlon and heptathlon going into the final events on Friday.
Terry Prentice has the decathlon lead with 4,118 points, while Makeba Alcide led the way in the heptathlon with 3,455 points.
Prentice tied for first in the high jump at 6-83/4 and was second in the long jump with a best of 24-9. Alcide’s top events were also in the field as she won the high jump at 5-91/4 and was second in the shot put with a 40-2.
The multi-events resume at 2 p.m. Friday with the final five events of the decathlon — the 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin and 1,500 meters.
The women’s heptathlon will pick up at 2:15 p.m. with the final three events — long jump, javelin and 800 meters.
(after 5 of 10 events)
1, Terry Prentice, Arkansas, 4,118 points. 2, Gunnar Nixon, Arkansas, 4,100. 3, Cory Holman, Georgia, 4,047. 4, Kevin Lazas, Arkansas, 4,000. 5, Michael Ayers, Georgia, 3,972. 6, Auston Chen, Arkansas, 3,819. 7, Garrett Scantling, Georgia, 3,788. 8, Tevarus Christian, Miss. State, 3,129.
(after 4 of 7 events)
1, Makeba Alcide, Arkansas, 3,455. 2, Kaylon Eppinger, Alabama, 3,417. 3, Brittany Harrell, Florida, 3,410. 4, Erica Bougard, Miss. State, 3,327. 5, Alex Gochenhour, LSU, 3,252. 6, Fabia McDonald, Ole Miss, 3,215. 7, Keisha Wallace, Miss. State, 3,093. 8, Lucie Ondraschkova, Georgia, 3,083. 9, Kaitlyn Moreau, LSU, 3,056. 10, Mary Nall, Ole Miss, 2,865. 11, Sarah Graham, South Carolina, 2,756.